Duterte to heed military recommendation on martial law in Mindanao

President Rodrigo R. Duterte will heed the military’s recommendation before deciding whether to lift or extend anew martial law in Mindanao, Malacañang said Thursday.

The statement came as the country commemorates the second anniversary of the Marawi siege that prompted the President to declare martial law and suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus in May 2017.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the President will decide based on several factors that will be determined by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police.

“‘Pag may rekomendasyon na iyong military saka AFP, PNP (If there is already a recommendation of the military and the AFP, PNP),” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.

He said that these factors include threats of activities by terrorists and other enemies of the state.

Martial law, he said, will be in place until yearend unless the President decides to have it lifted.

“Oo, hanggang walang sinasabi ang Presidente ‘di tuloy iyon (So long as the President has not said anything, it will continue),” Panelo said.

Asked if there is a possibility that martial law could be extended for a fourth time, he said it would depend on the President.

“Hindi natin alam eh (We don’t know). We will be only speculating. It depends,” Panelo said. PNA